Machinery refers to specific machines or machines in general. A farmer has lots of farm machinery, like tractors and plows. Machinery is also the inner workings of something β€” the machinery of a society is how a society works.

You can refer to a group of machines as machinery, such as the machinery in a factory or the machinery in a laboratory. It’s also the inner workings of a particular machine, like the machinery that keeps your computer running. Machinery has to do with how something works or functions. The government, media, business, and family are all part of the machinery of society. The word machinery originally referred to the devices used for creating stage effects in the theater.

Definitions of machinery

n machines or machine systems collectively

show 13 types...
hide 13 types...
machinery consisting of engines collectively
grinder, mill, milling machinery
machinery that processes materials by grinding or crushing
cider mill
mill that extracts juice from apples to make apple cider
coffee grinder, coffee mill
a mill that grinds roasted coffee beans
flour mill
a mill for grinding grain into flour
a mill for grinding grain (especially the customer's own grain)
meat grinder
a mill for grinding meat
pepper grinder, pepper mill
a mill for grinding pepper
a primitive stone mill for grinding corn by hand
a mill for grinding spices
tread-wheel, treadmill, treadwheel
a mill that is powered by men or animals walking on a circular belt or climbing steps
water mill
a mill powered by a water wheel
a mill that is powered by the wind
Type of:
any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks

n a system of means and activities whereby a social institution functions

“the complex machinery of negotiation”
“the machinery of command labored and brought forth an order”
Type of:
scheme, system
a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.